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I’m a big fan of taking control over your own body. That means staying prepared for anything, you know, like unexpected mistakes, unexpected malfunctions, or just wanting to be super sure that you’re controlling your own sexual health, no matter what. With that boss energy in mind, I want to help make it as seamless as possible to shop for plan B online, incase you ever find yourself needing it. I even picked up a few packages to keep under my medicine cabinet and to hand out to my friends just in case. Before we get into where to shop for the pill, let’s answer a few FAQs. We tapped Cristin Hackel, MSN, ARNP, WHNP-BC, and medical provider for Nurx to get the scoop.
“Emergency contraception is a great tool for preventing unwanted pregnancy and comes in two forms: a pill and intrauterine device (IUD),” says Hackel. “There are two pill options for emergency contraception: Plan B and Ella. Plan B is an over-the-counter option (no prescription needed) and is effective for up to three days (72 hours) after sex. Ella (prescription required) is effective for up to five days (120 hours) after sex,” she tells Stylecaster.
I hadn’t heard of using an IUD as “morning after” pregnancy prevention, but Hackel explained further. “If the IUD is inserted within five days of having unprotected sex, it works by creating an inhabitable environment in the uterus so nothing will implant. It will not disturb a pregnancy that has already implanted in the uterus, and a negative pregnancy test is required before having the IUD inserted,” she says. Remember, emergency contraception (plan B, Ella) is different than an abortion pill. If you are already confirmed as pregnant, emergency contraception should not be taken. Here’s a quick FAQ, as answered by Hackel:
Is there a correlation between weight and emergency contraception’s effectiveness?
Yes – there is a correlation between weight and the effectiveness of emergency contraception. Ella, the prescription morning after pill, is recommended for women who weigh more than 164 pounds.
When do you need to take Plan B after sex for it to be effective?
Plan B must be taken within three days (72 hours) of sex in order for it to be effective.
What is the efficacy rate? What should you do besides/in addition to taking the pill to prevent pregnancy?
Plan B typically reduces your risk of falling pregnant by 88%. If you take it within 24 hours of unprotected sex, it prevents pregnancy in 95% of cases.
Ella is 65% more effective at preventing pregnancy than Plan B when it’s taken within 24 hours. If taken within 72 hours, Ella is still 42% more effective than Plan B.
The most effective method of emergency contraception is to have an IUD inserted by a medical provider within five days. This method isn’t impacted by body weight, and you can leave the IUD in for years as birth control.
When does Plan B expire? What is the shelf life?
Most brands of the morning after pill last for a few years without being refrigerated if left unopened. This time frame will start from the actual manufacturer date, not the date it was purchased. After the expiration date, the potency and purity of the medication are not guaranteed by the company that has manufactured it.
Is the morning after pill legal in every state?
At this time, emergency contraception is legal and available in every state. Many pharmacies do not stock Ella which makes it harder to find, but Plan B or generics should be available in local pharmacies.
Is it bad to take a morning after pill multiple times per year?
It is considered safe to use emergency contraception pills multiple times a year. Ella is not recommended to use more than once per month, but there is no medical risk in doing so. Both types of pills can cause bleeding and make it hard to know what is a “regular” period and not withdrawal bleeding from using emergency contraceptive pills. What is most important to know is that emergency contraceptive pills are never as effective as using regular and consistent birth control.
There’s no age limit or parental consent required to get this morning-after pill delivered directly to your door. Plus, sign up with your email and receive 15 percent off of your first order.
At Wisp, you can pick up generic plan B for 60 percent cheaper than if you were to shop it at a pharmacy. Unfortunately they only sell Ella for pick-up at your local pharmacy, but you can still grab it here for $22.
This is another generic Plan B option that you can pick up a few of to have on-hand, since they’re only $6.99
You can also get Plan B or Ella at Nurx, Pandia Health, and more, but you’ll have to create a profile and may incur membership costs.